Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
This week I finished rereading The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz. This is a book that I read about 15 (or more!) years ago, and which I found during my recent reorganization. Fittingly, the book is all about how to structure one’s life as a creator — and more, a book about choosing to do valuable work in the world, about choosing to be free. It is a book of great optimism for the future. One of the last chapters is a tribute to the legacy of John F. Kennedy, which, according to Fritz, was “not political,” but “orientational” (273):
When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concerns, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his experience. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment. The artist, faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an offensive state.
– John F. Kennedy
I’ve been trying to read about what one can do in troubled (and troubling) times, and while I’m happy to wear a safety pin in solidarity with the marginalized, the real key, to my mind, is to BE the change, and not just post on Facebook about it.
And being the change means dropping our judgements, accepting our flaws, our irresponsibility, our codependency and deciding what we’re going to choose. Love or Fear.
. “For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment. The artist, faithful to his personal vision …….” I am always saying the poets save the world, and art and it ia one part of the world’s salvation and even a safety pin, anything we feel called to do, we must do, against all odds. Even when everyone says we are wrong. David Brooks said it is the “one Person” that makes a difference and there are so many “ones” out there doing good. And you are one of the ones.
Carolynne and Shawna, Thank you for reminding me. It’s so easy to lose heart. Bethany